Rhys Ifans

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Rhys Ifans
Rhys Ifans 2011 cropped (cropped).jpg
Ifans in 2011
Rhys Owain Evans

(1967-07-22) 22 July 1967 (age 55)
Years active1991–present
RelativesLlŷr Ifans (brother)

Rhys Ifans (Welsh pronunciation: [r̥ɨːs ˈivans]; born Rhys Owain Evans; 22 July 1967) is a Welsh actor and musician. He was the frontman of Welsh rock music bands the Peth and Super Furry Animals. As an actor, he is best known for his roles in Notting Hill (1999), Kevin & Perry Go Large (2000) and Enduring Love (2004) as well as his portrayals of Xenophilius Lovegood in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 (2010), the supervillain Lizard in The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) and Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021), and Grigori Rasputin in The King's Man (2021). Other roles include Hector DeJean in the Epix thriller series Berlin Station, Mycroft Holmes in the CBS series Elementary, and Ser Otto Hightower in the HBO television series House of the Dragon.

Early life[edit]

Ifans was born Rhys Owain Evans[1] in Haverfordwest on 22 July 1967,[2] the son of nursery school teacher Beti-Wyn (née Davies) and primary school teacher Eurwyn Evans.[3][4] His younger brother, Llŷr Ifans, is also an actor.[5][6] He grew up in Ruthin,[7] where he received his primary education at Ysgol Pentrecelyn and was raised speaking Welsh as his first language.[8] He attended Ysgol Maes Garmon, a Welsh medium secondary school in Mold, where he took his O levels and A levels.[9] He attended acting classes at Theatr Clwyd.[5] After leaving school, he presented Welsh-language television programmes on S4C.[5] He studied acting at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where he graduated in 1997.[10]



Ifans' early stage work included Hamlet at Theatr Clwyd, A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Regent's Park Theatre, and Under Milk Wood and Volpone at the National Theatre. He appeared at the Donmar Warehouse in 2003's Accidental Death of an Anarchist. In 2006, he returned to the London stage in Michael Grandage's production of Don Juan in Soho at the Donmar Warehouse. In 2016, Ifans played Fool alongside Glenda Jackson in Deborah Warner's production of King Lear, at The Old Vic. He returned to The Old Vic to play Ebenezer Scrooge in Matthew Warchus' production of A Christmas Carol (adapted by Jack Thorne) in 2017 and in 2018 returned to the National Theatre to play King Berenger in Patrick Marber's new adaptation of Eugene Ionesco's Exit the King. Ifans was given the role of Atticus Finch in Aaron Sorkin's To Kill A Mockingbird to begin at London's Gielgud Theatre on 21 May 2020.[11] The play was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic but was rescheduled for May 2021.[12] The role of Atticus Finch was later given to Rafe Spall due to scheduling conflicts.[13]


Ifans appeared in many Welsh-language television programmes before embarking on his film career, including the comedy show Pobol y Chyff [cy], as well as performing at the National Theatre, London and the Royal Exchange, Manchester. In 1990, he presented Sdwnsh (Welsh for "Mash"), an anarchic children's quiz programme. A total of 31 fifteen-minute programmes were broadcast on Welsh-language TV channel S4C.[14][15]

In 2000, He narrated the children's animated series Sali Mali for S4C. In 2004, Ifans performance as Peter Cook in the TV film Not Only But Always won him the BAFTA Best Actor at the |2005 British Academy Television Awards.[16]

In 2005, Ifans made a guest appearance for the rock band Oasis in the video for their single "The Importance of Being Idle" (where he mimed to Noel Gallagher's vocals), for which he accepted their award for Video of the Year at the 2006 NME Awards. He has also appeared in the music videos for "God! Show Me Magic" and "Hometown Unicorn" by Super Furry Animals, "Mulder and Scully" by Catatonia, and "Mama Told Me Not to Come" by Tom Jones with Stereophonics.

In 2008, he appeared in "Six Days One June", one of three episodes of the TV series The Last Word Monologues, written by Hugo Blick and broadcast on BBC Two. He played a lonely Welsh farmer trying to free himself from a domineering mother.

From 2016 to 2019, Ifans portrayed hard-nosed American CIA case officer Hector DeJean in the U.S. pay-cable Epix network espionage thriller drama series Berlin Station, which was filmed on location in Berlin.

Ifans plays Otto Hightower[17] in the Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon, which premiered 21 August 2022.[18]

Feature films[edit]

Following his role as Jeremy Lewis in the Swansea-based movie Twin Town (1997) alongside his brother Llŷr,[19] Ifans gained international exposure in his role as the slovenly housemate Spike in the British film Notting Hill (1999). Reportedly, in preparation for the role, Ifans did not wash himself or brush his teeth. He played Adrian, the pompous eldest brother in Little Nicky (2000). Other film roles include: Eyeball Paul in Kevin & Perry Go Large (2000), Nigel in The Replacements (2000), Iki in The 51st State (2001), William Dobbin in Vanity Fair (2004), and Vladis Grutas in Hannibal Rising (2007). He played Jed Parry in the 2004 film version of Ian McEwan's Enduring Love, and the lead role in Danny Deckchair (2003) as Danny Morgan.

Ifans revealed in March 2009 that he was to appear in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 (2010).[20] He played Xenophillius Lovegood, editor of the wizarding magazine The Quibbler and father of the eccentric Luna Lovegood. In the same interview, he announced that he would play the title role in the film Mr. Nice, based on the life of the drug smuggler Howard Marks. He played Nemo Nobody's father in Mr. Nobody. He played a villain in Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang.

On 11 October 2010 Associated Press confirmed that Ifans would portray the villain in the Spider-Man reboot film The Amazing Spider-Man. The villain was revealed as the Curt Connors / Lizard a few days later, and the film was released in July 2012.[21] In 2015, Ifans starred in She's Funny That Way, directed by Peter Bogdanovich.

Ifans also starred in Steven Bernstein's Last Call, which was released theatrically, followed an extremely long delay, in the US on 25 November 2020. It is a surrealistic biopic, which recreates the life of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas through flashbacks during the famous drinking binge at the White Horse Tavern in New York City which ended fatally during the fall of 1953. The film stars Ifans as Thomas alongside John Malkovich, Rodrigo Santoro, Romola Garai, Zosia Mamet, and Tony Hale.

On 16 November 2021 it was revealed, through the film's official trailer, that Ifans would reprise his role as Lizard from The Amazing Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film Spider-Man: No Way Home, to be released on 17 December. Later it was revealed that Ifans was not actually present on set and only lent his voice for the character created through digital means, with his human form at the end of the film being from archival footage from The Amazing Spider-Man.[22][23]

Ifans also appeared as Grigori Rasputin in the spy film The King's Man, which was released in December 2021.[24]


Ifans was briefly lead vocalist of the rock band Super Furry Animals before they released any records.[25]

Since 2007, Ifans has sung with the psychedelic rock band The Peth ("peth" is Welsh for "thing"), featuring Super Furry Animals' Dafydd Ieuan, which played a number of concert dates in south Wales and in London in the autumn of 2008. In 2009 the band supported Oasis at a concert in the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.[26]

Charity work[edit]

In September 2012, Ifans became a patron of the Welsh-language Wikipedia,[27] together with then Archbishop of Wales Barry Morgan.

In 2017, Ifans partnered with Shelter Cymru in a campaign called "7 Ways You Can End Homelessness".[28] He also in 2017 supported the community purchase of Tafarn Sinc, a pub in his native Pembrokeshire facing closure.[29]

Personal life[edit]

Ifans lives in London.[8] He dated actress Sienna Miller in 2008[30] and has dated English actress Anna Friel from 2011 to 2014.[31][32]


In 2002, Ifans caused some controversy in the British media for his alleged support of Meibion Glyndŵr, a militant Welsh nationalist group which burnt down more than 100 empty holiday homes in Wales owned by English people during the 1980s. This was mainly due to an interview Mariella Frostrup conducted with him for The Observer in which he said, "Welsh-speaking communities are under threat more than at any other time in history because of house prices. [...] Communities that have been there for centuries are essentially becoming holiday villages. Young people are forced to leave because there's no work and the young people that are left can't afford to live there. That's a crime."[8]

During the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con, Ifans was arrested for misdemeanour battery by the San Diego Police Department after allegedly pushing a guard prior to speaking on a guest panel.[33] The District Attorney's office announced that Ifans would not be charged due to lack of evidence.[34]



Year Title Role Notes
1996 August Griffiths
1997 Twin Town Jeremy Lewis
1998 Dancing at Lughnasa Gerry Evans
1999 Heart Alex Madden
You're Dead Eddie
Notting Hill Spike
Janice Beard 45 WPM Sean
Hooves of Fire Head Elf Voice
2000 Rancid Aluminium Pete Thompson
Love, Honour and Obey Matthew
Kevin & Perry Go Large Eyeball Paul
Sali Mali Narrator
The Replacements Nigel Gruff
Little Nicky Adrian
2001 Hotel Trent Stoken
Christmas Carol: The Movie Bob Cratchit Voice
The Shipping News Beaufield Nutbeem
Human Nature Puff
The 51st State/Formula 51 Iki
2002 Once Upon a Time in the Midlands Dek
2003 Danny Deckchair Danny Morgan
2004 Vanity Fair William Dobbin
Enduring Love Jed
2005 Midsummer Dream Lysander Voice: English version
Chromophobia Colin
2006 Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties McBunny Voice
2007 Four Last Songs Dickie
Hannibal Rising Grutas
Elizabeth: The Golden Age Robert Reston
2008 Come Here Today Alex
2009 The Informers Roger
The Boat That Rocked Gavin Kavanagh
Mr. Nobody Nemo's Father
2010 Mr. Nice Howard Marks
Greenberg Ivan Schrank
Passion Play Sam Adamo
Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang Uncle Phil
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 Xenophilius Lovegood
Exit Through the Gift Shop Narrator
2011 Anonymous Edward de Vere
2012 The Five-Year Engagement Winton Childs
The Amazing Spider-Man Dr. Curt Connors / Lizard[21] Nominated — Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Villain
2013 Another Me Don
2014 Serena Galloway
Madame Bovary Monsieur Lheureux
2015 Dominion Dylan Thomas
She's Funny That Way Seth Gilbert
Len and Company Len Black
Under Milk Wood Captain Cat Also producer
2016 Alice Through the Looking Glass Zanik Hightopp
Snowden Corbin O'Brian
2018 The Parting Glass[35] Karl
2019 Official Secrets Ed Vulliamy
2020 Misbehaviour Eric Morley
Last Call Dylan Thomas
2021 La Cha Cha Jeremiah
The Phantom of the Open Keith Mackenzie
Spider-Man: No Way Home Dr. Curt Connors / Lizard[22] Voice, live-action appearance via archive footage
The King's Man Grigori Rasputin
TBA Nyad John Bartlett


Year Title Role Notes
1991 Spatz Dave 2 episodes
1995 Screen Two Kevin Episode: "Streetlife"
1997 Trial & Retribution Michael Dunn 2 episodes
2000, 2020–present Sali Mali Narrator 2 series
2004 Not Only But Always Peter Cook TV movie
2008 A Number Bernard (B2) TV movie
2011 Neverland James Hook TV movie
2012 The Corrections Gitanas Unaired pilot
2013–2014 Elementary Mycroft Holmes 7 episodes
2013 Playhouse Presents Chris Episode: "Gifted"
2016–2019 Berlin Station Hector DeJean 24 episodes
2021 Temple Gubby Season 2
2022–present House of the Dragon Otto Hightower Main cast

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1997 "Mulder and Scully"
2000 "Mama Told Me Not to Come"
2005 "The Importance of Being Idle" Lazy Man

Honours, awards and nominations[edit]

On 16 July 2007, he received an Honorary Fellowship of Bangor University, for services to the film industry.[36]

Year Awards Category Work Result ref
2000 53rd British Academy Film Awards BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role Notting Hill Nominated [37]
Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Nominated [37]
Blockbuster Entertainment Awards Favorite Supporting Actor - Comedy/Romance Nominated [37]
2005 2005 British Academy Television Awards BAFTA Best Actor (TV) Not Only But Always Won [16][37]
International Emmy Awards International Emmy Award for Best Actor Nominated [38][37]
Empire Awards Best British Actor Enduring Love Nominated [37]
BAFTA Cymru Sian Phillips Award Outstanding Contribution to TV/Film Won [39][37]
2010 Seville European Film Festival Best Actor Mr. Nice Won [40][37]
2012 2012 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Villain The Amazing Spider-Man Nominated [37]
2015 BAFTA Cymru Best Actor (Yr Actor Gorau) Under Milk Wood Nominated [37]
2017 Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival Jury Prize - Best Actor Last Call (Dylan Thomas) Won [37]


  1. ^ Births, Marriages & Deaths Index of England & Wales, 1916–2005.; at ancestry.com
  2. ^ Johnston, Sheila. "Ifans, Rhys". Screenonline. British Film Institute. Retrieved 1 April 2020. Born Rhys Owain Evans in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, on 22 July 1967
  3. ^ Wloszczyna, Susan (3 June 1999). "Undies and all, 'Hill' is heaven for the flatmate from hell". USA Today. Retrieved 11 October 2010.
  4. ^ Anderson, Daniel (3 July 2012). "Uncut Interview - Rhys Ifans (The Amazing Spider-Man)". clickonline.com. Archived from the original on 28 March 2016. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  5. ^ a b c "Rhys Ifans biography". Wales Arts. BBC. 7 October 2010. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  6. ^ "Rhys Ifans' parental pride". Boston Globe. 17 March 2008. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  7. ^ "Rhys Ifans". moono.com.
  8. ^ a b c "Rhys's pieces". The Observer. 1 September 2002. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
  9. ^ "Castle yn cyd-ddathlu gydag ysgol hanesyddol". BBC Lleol. Retrieved 22 June 2021.
  10. ^ D'Souza, Christa (14 February 2003). "Sometimes, I cry like a baby". Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 11 January 2022.
  11. ^ Criscitiello, Alexa. "Rhys Ifans To Star In TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD West End Transfer". Broadway World. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  12. ^ "To Kill A Mockingbird London - To Kill A Mockingbird Rhys Ifans". British Theatre. 28 November 2019. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  13. ^ "Rafe Spall to star in West End premiere of To Kill a Mockingbird". www.msn.com. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  14. ^ "Sdwnsh". antena.co.uk. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007.
  15. ^ "Sdwnsh". Antena. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  16. ^ a b "British Academy Television Awards 2005". bafta.org. Retrieved 24 October 2022.
  17. ^ "House of the Dragon Cast & Characters | HBO.com". www.hbo.com. Retrieved 22 August 2022.
  18. ^ "Here's When Each Episode of 'House of the Dragon' Will Be on HBO Max". Esquire. 21 August 2022. Retrieved 22 August 2022.
  19. ^ Louise Ford (9 March 2008). "Sienna Miller to marry lover Rhys Ifans". Sunday Mirror. Archived from the original on 11 May 2008.
  20. ^ Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, 27 March 2009
  21. ^ a b "Rhys Ifans Will Play the Lizard in 'Spider-Man'". /film. 14 October 2010. Retrieved 13 October 2010.
  22. ^ a b Coggan, Devan (16 November 2021). "New Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer swings headfirst into the multiverse". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 17 November 2021. Retrieved 16 November 2021.
  23. ^ Welch, Alex. "Two 'Spider-Man: No Way Home' villains reveal Marvel's laziest mistake". Inverse. Retrieved 7 January 2022.
  24. ^ Roth, Dany. "Rhys Ifans Reveals How He Became Rasputin For The King's Man - Exclusive". Looper.
  25. ^ "Super Furry Animals FAQ". BBC Wales. Archived from the original on 15 March 2008.
  26. ^ "The Peth Biography". Wales Music. BBC. 18 November 2008. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  27. ^ "University honours for ex-Swans star Guillermo Bauza and actor Rhys Ifans". South Wales Evening Post. 20 July 2015. Archived from the original on 25 July 2015. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  28. ^ "Rhys Ifans backs Shelter Cymru's homelessness campaign". BBC News. 18 May 2017. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  29. ^ Mosalski, Ruth (28 August 2017). "Hollywood star Rhys Ifans backs campaign to save iconic pub". WalesOnline. Retrieved 5 September 2021.
  30. ^ "Sienna Miller dumps 'jealous' Rhys Ifans - 9News". www.9news.com.au. Retrieved 23 August 2022.
  31. ^ "Marcella: Anna Friel's love life – from first partner to recent heartbreak". 9 February 2021.
  32. ^ "Anna Friel reveals Helen Mirren is her role model for finding love". 29 September 2018.
  33. ^ "'Spider-Man' Villain Rhys Ifans Cited at Comic-Con". TheWrap. 23 July 2011.
  34. ^ Molloy, Tim (12 August 2011). "'Spider-Man' Villain Rhys Ifans Won't Be Charged in Comic-Con Incident (Exclusive)". Reuters.
  35. ^ "The Parting Glass (2018)". IMDb. 31 May 2020.
  36. ^ "Film actor, Rhys Ifans among University's Honorary Fellows!". News and Events at the University of Wales, Bangor. Bangor University. 17 July 2007. Archived from the original on 27 December 2008. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
  37. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Rhys Ifans Awards". IMDB (Index source only). Retrieved 24 October 2022.
  38. ^ "Clinton, Mirren to present at I-Emmys 2005". variety.com. 17 October 2005.
  39. ^ "Cymru - Siân Phillips Award in 2005 winner Rhys Ifans". bafta.org. Retrieved 24 October 2022.
  40. ^ "Seville European Film Festival 2010 - Winner: Best Actor". mubi.com. Retrieved 24 October 2022.

External links[edit]